Lotus 'still hurting' without FRIC
Lotus says it is still struggling to adapt to the loss of its Front and Rear Interconnected (FRIC) suspension which was removed before the German Grand Prix.
What is FRIC?
- Front and Rear Interconnected suspension systems link the front and rear to help control the pitch of the car under braking in order to maintain its ride height and gain an aerodynamic advantage.
Since teams removed the suspension system it pioneered in 2008 Lotus has clearly lost ground in the pecking order to Sauber. Even though there have been two races and a four-week summer break since FRIC came off the cars Lotus technical director Nick Chester says it is still causing problems for the team ahead of the trip to Spa.
"We have made some progress in reducing the deficiency from losing the interconnected suspension but we are still hurting a little bit," Chester said. "We have some revised mechanical parts for Spa including some new springs and enhanced suspension settings with should help. [FRIC] was a a highly developed system on the E22 beforehand so it is hard to claw all of the performance back straight away."
Despite Lotus showing no signs of a big turnaround in its fortunes Chester is confident the team can continue to find progress in the upgrades it plans for the upcoming races.
"The key thing is that we are continuing to push development of the E22 in the coming races with some fairly substantial upgrades. We know that there are some very sensitive areas of the car where we can make some good gains so we will be focusing on these areas too.
"Front and rear wing developments are planned for Spa. The rear wing upgrades may be tight for Spa due to the time lost in manufacturing during the summer shutdown but we are pushing for it to be in Belgium. We have new bodywork and some smaller modifications centred around the front of the chassis which should give some good downforce benefits for us."